Palm trees and bike lane at the port of Kos, Dodecanese

Kos

Dodecanese, Greece

Kos is a beautiful Greek island of the Dodecanese group. The island is really popular with all types of travelers and one of our favorite vacation destinations. On this Ferryhopper page, you can find useful information about beaches, villages, attractions and ferry schedules to Kos. Book cheap ferry tickets to Kos in just 4 clicks on Ferryhopper!

Rocks in the deep blue sea of Kos

The impressive coastline and blue waters of Kos

Vacation in Kos

Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese after Rhodes and Karpathos. The island has a long coastline with many amazing beaches, quaint villages and seaside resorts. On the island of Kos you can visit historical monuments that bear witness to its rich past. The island is popular with families, groups of friends, as well as couples, since there is something for everyone! Have fun on the beach, dance till the first morning light, explore the impressive natural landscape and enjoy top accommodation in Kos.

How to get to Kos

You can travel to Kos from mainland Greece at the port of Piraeus in Athens. Normally, there are daily ferry crossings throughout the year and the journey duration is 10.5 hours on average. If you’re in Turkey, you can also catch a ferry from the port city of Bodrum just a few miles off the coast of Kos. The island is well connected with other nearby islands such as Rhodes, Nisyros and Kalymnos.

Moreover, there’s an international airport in Kos, close to the village of Antimachia, 30 minutes from the main port of the island.

What to do in Kos

On the off chance you’re into culture, history, picture-perfect beaches and quaint villages (who are we kidding?), Kos is a great holiday destination. There are both remote and well equipped beaches, historical monuments dating back to ancient times, water sports centers and many different spots for authentic moments on the island.

Beaches in Kos

In Kos you can swim in crystal-clear waters and join the fun of a bustling beach with bars and umbrellas or head to cute little coves, where you can recharge your batteries in absolute peace. Here’s the top 10 beaches in Kos according to ferryhoppers:

  1. Paradise: This is one of the largest beaches on the island. It has thin white sand and crystal-clear waters. There are restaurants and water sports facilities at the beach.
  2. Exotic Beach (Xerokampos): Exotic Beach is one of the most popular in Kos, due to its natural beauty and clear waters. There are visitor amenities and a beach bar, where you can enjoy your drink night and day!
  3. Cavo Paradiso: Cavo Paradiso is the hidden gem of Kos! It’s a secluded beach, perfect for relaxing moments under the sun and swimming in friendly waters.
  4. Limnionas: This cove is wind-protected and it has golden sand and blue waters.
  5. Kamari: Kamari is right next to Limnionas and it is one of the largest and busiest beaches on the island. The sandy beach offers water sports facilities and other visitor amenities, such as local restaurants.
  6. Camel: Camel is on the southern part of the island. It’s a rocky beach with natural shade, which makes it perfect for relaxation. There’s also a taverna nearby, serving delicious seafood.
  7. Lagada: The beach is peaceful and popular with families. Kids can swim in crystal-clear waters and there are some visitor amenities.
  8. Kastri: The islet of Kastri is at the bay of Kefalos. You can visit the beautiful beach of the little island by boat.
  9. Psilos Gremos: This amazing sandy beach is at the bay of Kefalos and it has turquoise waters. There are no visitor amenities, but you can have lunch at the restaurant nearby.
  10. Volcania: Volcania is on the northwestern coast of Kos. It has shallow waters and thin white sand. The beach is named after the volcanic rocks in the area.

Breakwater at the port of Kos in the sunset light

Breakwater at the port of Kos

Sightseeing in Kos

Kos is inhabited since ancient times and many civilizations have thrived on the island. In Chora and in some of the smaller villages, there are several monuments of historical importance that are worth a visit. Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, who is considered to be the “father of medicine”. Ferryhopper suggests that you visit:

  • Casa Romana: restored Roman mansion
  • Asklepion: ancient healing temple
  • Neratzia Castle: ruins of a 14th-century seaside fortress
  • Ancient Agora of Kos: the ancient forum of the island
  • Archaeological Museum of Kos
  • Roman Odeon of Kos: 2nd-century open-air Roman theater
  • Antimachia Castle: medieval castle remnants with impressive view
  • Basilica St. Stefanos: 5th-century Christian temple ruins
  • Tree of Hippocrates: plane tree known as the teaching place of Hippocrates
  • White Stone Cave (Aspri Petra): impressive cave with a history dating back to 2,000 BCE

Activities in Kos

Kids and grown-ups can try different activities in Kos. If you’re a nature lover, there are many open-air activities to try on the island. Here are some of the best outdoor experiences in Kos:

  • Cycling from Tigaki to Agios Fokas
  • Windsurfing in Marmari
  • Horse-riding in Amaniou
  • Windsurfing in Mastichari
  • Trying water games at the Aquatica Water Park
  • Sailing with the Nautical Club of Kos
  • Traveling to the Turkish coast
  • Visiting the natural spa in Therma
  • Exploring the Kos Natural Park in Zia

Beach with sand and emerald waters on the island of Kos

Long sandy beach with emerald green waters in Kos

Food in Kos

The island of Kos is a gastronomical paradise perfectly combining the Mediterranean tradition with the island’s historical influences and unique local ingredients and techniques. You can enjoy fresh organic products and mouthwatering festive dishes in one of the island’s tavernas and restaurants. Before you leave, we recommend that you visit one of the small markets to take some honey and olive oil with you back home. Here are some of our favorite dishes and products of Kos:

  • Posia: wine-cured cheese
  • Pitaridia: homemade pasta cooked in meat broth
  • Zucchini blossoms stuffed with rice
  • Pork stew served with bulgur wheat
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh seafood
  • Pasa makarouna: festive thin lasagna tray bake with minced meat
  • Katimeria: fried flat dough with cinnamon and clove

Villages in Kos

Kos is a large island with many villages, where you can enjoy easy-going vacation. Visit a traditional kafeneio, to have a cold coffee in the morning and an invigorating tsipouro at night. Here are some of the best villages in Kos:

  • Chora
  • Kardamaina
  • Kefalos
  • Zia
  • Marmari
  • Mastichari
  • Antimachia
  • Pili
  • Tigaki
  • Zipari

Useful information for Kos

There are many visitor facilities in Kos. You can find ATMs, banks, pharmacies, supermarkets and a hospital in Chora. There are more ATMs in Kardamaina, Mastichari, as well as other villages on the island. If you’re driving during your holidays in Kos, there are plenty of gas stations on the road from Chora to Kefalos.

Useful phone numbers for your stay in Kos

Find some useful phone numbers for your stay in Kos below:

  • Port Authority of Kos: +302242026594
  • Tourist Office of Kos: +302242020107
  • General Hospital of Kos: +302242360200, +302242028050
  • Medical Center of Kos: +302242023423
  • Municipality of Kos: +302242028724
  • Public bus service (KTEL): +302242022292

Transportation in Kos

There is a regular public bus service in Kos. The bus network of the island serves most of the major villages, popular beaches and ancient sites. You can also drive on the island, bringing your own vehicle by ferry from Piraeus or renting one there. Moreover, there are taxis operating throughout the island. One of the most popular ways to get around the island is by bicycle, used by locals as well as travelers. There are bike rental places, where you can get a bicycle to explore Kos in an eco-friendly way.

Good to know: Much of the island is rather flat and you can find some bike lanes, but there are some challenging areas too. Make sure you are an experienced rider and have a look at the route before starting your adventure.

Seaside bike lane with trees in Chora

Bike lane by the sea in Kos

Ports in Kos

There are 3 ports in Kos: Chora, Kardamaina and Mastichari. From the ports of Kos you can travel to mainland Greece, nearby islands, as well as to the coast of Turkey. The ports of Kardamaina and Mastichari are approximately 30 minutes from Chora by car.

The port of Chora

It is the main port of Kos, located on the northeast part of the island. The port serves the majority of ferry routes from Piraeus, Rhodes, Patmos, Kalymnos, Leros, the Cyclades, as well as Bodrum in Turkey.

The port of Kardamaina

Kardamaina is the smallest port in Kos. It is located on the southern coast of the island and mostly serves ferry routes to Nisyros and Tilos.

The port of Mastichari

From the port of Mastichari on the northwestern coast of the island, you can catch the ferry to other Dodecanese islands, such as Kalymnos, Pserimos and Leros.

Ruins of the Early Christian Basilica of Agios Stefanos on the island of Kos

The Early Christian Basilica of Agios Stefanos in Kos

Island hopping from Kos

Kos is situated at the center of the Dodecanese island group in the southeastern Aegean Sea. This means it is a perfect starting point for island hopping! From the 3 ports of Kos, you can catch a ferry to the following islands:

  • Kalymnos
  • Leros
  • Nisyros
  • Leipsoi
  • Symi
  • Rhodes
  • Patmos
  • Astypalaia
  • Karpathos
  • Kasos
  • Samos
  • Ikaria
  • Amorgos
  • Syros
  • Santorini
  • Naxos

On Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, you can see all available ferry connections from Kos. Find the best routes and ferry schedules, to easily plan your trip in the Aegean Sea!

Kos ferry, schedules and tickets

You can travel by ferry from Athens to Piraeus all year round. During the summer, there is at least 1 daily ferry crossing from the port of Piraeus. The Piraeus - Kos ferry route takes around 10.5 hours.

Tip: Book a cabin to enjoy the sailing across the Aegean Sea and arrive in Kos relaxed and well-rested!

The famous Plane Tree of Hippocrates in Kos

The Tree of Hippocrates in Kos

Where to book ferry tickets online to Kos

Are you looking forward to visiting the island of Hippocrates, to drink delicious wine, cycle and visit amazing beaches with the ancient physician? Now on Timehopper On Ferryhopper, you can find all ferry schedules, compare ferry companies, access discounts and book online tickets to Kos!


Kos has direct ferry connections with 43 ports:

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